After two demonstrations at Jantar Mantar and a march to Rashtrapati Bhavan this year, the Congress is planning a mega rally at the capital’s iconic Ramlila Ground to protest the NDA government’s land acquisition bill. The rally is also a bid to consolidate the grand old party’s position as a pro-farmer, pro-poor party.
A top party strategist and close aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi told HT that the rally may take place by March-end or early-April. The dates have not yet been finalised as the party would like to wait for its vice-president Rahul Gandhi to return from his sabbatical and participate in it.
The Delhi rally is also planned as a part of the party’s pan-India campaign against the land bill.
The theme of the proposed movement will focus on farmers. The Congress had dubbed the NDA government’s land ordinance as anti-farmer while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior NDA leadership had pitched the amendments as being necessary for farmers’ benefits. “The changes made to the Act of 2013 were aimed to benefit farmers, rural areas and the country at large,” parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday. A section of the Congress wants to invite other like-minded parties who had stood with it on the land bill during the Parliament session.
Three days ago, Gandhi led an unprecedented Opposition march from Parliament to Rashtrapati Bhavan to appeal to President Pranab Mukherjee against the land bill. Earlier, the Congress also held a kanoon-wapsi rally and a Parliament-blockade rally at Jantar Mantar.